The Path to Power
Chapter Fifty Seven
The Villains Chapter
Ric watches from a rental car across from the park. He'd be in his own car but somehow sugar had ended up in his gas tank which resulted in a ruined engine. He watches as Sonny's limo pulls up. Jason and Courtney get out of the limo first with Michael then Sonny with a hand on the back of his pregnant wife. Carly. He can hear Elizabeth's voice echoing in his head getting louder as it repeats over and over again.
"You may be having a baby, but it's not with me. You may be having a baby, but it's not with me. You may be having a baby, but it's not with me. You may be having a baby, but it's not with ME." "Carly." Ric softly murmurs.
There are a lot of mutters as the Corinthos party arrives at the Chloe Morgan Memorial Park. Lila would be sorry she missed them. AJ is just relieved that Ned managed to get Faith out of the park. Whatever her plan is... he doesn't trust there won't be bloodshed involved if Faith runs into Sonny and the opportunity arises. Skye has already left with Cole and the Police Commissioner's kids-- so another reporter is handling the pictures of the new arrivals to the block party on Courtland St.
"Where did you go?" Lydia demands holding a hand to AJ's face to bring his focus from the distance to right in front of him.
"Michael is here."
"Where?!" Lydia turns around and starts looking for a little boy. She locates him by finding Courtney and Jason whose pictures have just been in the paper because of their wedding coming up next week. "He doesn't look anything like you. Oh my gracious, that red hair."
"Carly's mother-- Bobbie has red hair." AJ explains absently as he can't take his eyes off his son. Michael has grown so much.
"So that's your first wife." Lydia murmurs but she is checking out Courtney-- the most recent previous Mrs. AJ Quartermaine and the one that is at present single- but who will soon be off the market-- not soon enough for her.
"My first and second wife-- best of friends." AJ says wryly. "Every ex husband's nightmare."
Lydia snaps her fingers in front of his face so that he focuses on her. "Ah yes, but every current husband's nightmare is paying too much attention to his ex wife, wives."
AJ grins at his wife and taking her hand kisses the back of it. "True. True. Would you like to dance?"
"I thought you would never ask."
Skye leans against one kitchen counter and looks at Cole leaning up against the other. "What the hell has happened to us?!"
"Damned if I know, Babe." But Cole nods his head in bewilderment. "One day we're using the pool table not for its designed purpose, in the middle of the afternoon, in the middle of the dining room-- with all the curtains open...."
"Then we're babysitting three teenagers. Not that I really mind, although I do miss our pool games, but I just don't know when it happened."
"And we were thisclose to having five."
"Dillon and Lucas. I'm too close to AJ for Lucas to be comfortable here, and I get the feeling though that Dillon was running some kind of interference for Faith."
"I think insulation might be a better word." Cole suggests wryly. "I get the feeling that kid knows too much. You saw it at Fowler's funeral. Ashton didn't have a clue. But Dillon was stepping up there just like a little man."
"That's because nobody tells Ned anything." Skye counters. She might not be a Quartermaine anymore but the defense is automatic. "He's got his hands full with ELQ and dealing with Edward."
Cole just quirks a brow. "Right."
"Is there anything to drink?" Kyle comes into the kitchen interrupting Cole and Skye's conversation.
"I think we should lock them out of the house and just let them drink from the hose." Cole suggests only half kidding.
"Cole!" Skye rebukes him with a quick glance then goes over to the fridge. "Water, soda, juice or iced tea, Kyle. Did Maxie leave a message for her dad?"
"Georgie did. At the house and with dispatch." Hanging up the cordless phone, Kyle takes three drinks. "Finally got Maxie calmed down. It would go a long way toward her being cool if that guy is locked up." He suggests over his shoulder as he walks from the kitchen.
After the screen door slams shut behind Kyle, Cole starts talking again. "Not a damn thing that the police commissioner can do about Lansing. At least not about what he did at the park. Maybe a little chat, that's about it. Public place, Babe, and he didn't lay a finger on Elizabeth Webber or Maxie Jones."
"I was afraid of that." Skye hugs her arms close to her body. "He really did kill Fowler, didn't he?"
Cole hesitates before answering, his first instinct is to lie-- to reassure Skye. No, Babe, there are no monsters in the closet. Finally he answers, "Faith thinks so." He shrugs. "And yes, Faith... overreacts."
Skye snorts and rolls her eyes at that.
"Jason Morgan is still breathing. And that's who was set up for the murder. That's how convinced she is Lansing killed Fowler. Hell the cops know Lansing killed Fowler; they just can't prove it." Cole comes over and gives Skye a hug. She squirms a little but just to free her hands so she can wrap them around his waist. Closing her eyes she rests her head on his chest.
Kyle takes a half step back from the screen door, glad that he hadn't started to open the door. The hinges squeaked and Uncle Cole would have stopped talking. Munchies would have to wait. He'd thought Maxie was the one overreacting-- first telling him to go get her Dad and then freaking so hard even after the guy was long gone. Maybe there is something to that whole feminine intuition thing-- although it doesn't explain why Maxie didn't see me coming.
Jax decides it's past time to be leaving when Sonny and his
crew arrive. Not that he was letting Sonny run him off, he'd been ready to leave
for awhile. He just hadn't wanted to leave the same time as Skye. Taggart had
already given him a dirty look when he'd arrived to help out on the playground.
But it was his funds that had paid for the equipment and his sweat, thanks to
his deal with Lila-- installing it.
Business is going great. Life should be great. But its his only shiny spot to see the kids enjoying the playground. Because of a couple of things that are just messing with his mind: Skye has a restraining order against him-- against him, and he'd woke up in bed with Tracy Quartermaine.
Mac comes up to the playground and stands next to Jax. Kids are so cute at this age, seems like only yesterday that Maxie and Georgie had been pleading with him to give them a push on a swing, or hold their hand down the slide. Maybe with Lila's park and some people taking some interest now; they wouldn't be People of Interest for him in a couple of years.
"Normally it takes Corinthos to clear a room." Jax quips. "And normally it isn't the face painting booth that causes the exodus." He and Mac keep up the pretense of not being friends. There is too much water under the bridge for them to be close friends... or unfortunately-- strangers. "Is Maxie okay?"
"The girls checked in with dispatch. They're over at Skye's house. I'm on my way to pick them up now."
"Skye's?! WHY? When in the hell did that happen? Coleman." Jax realizes that Coleman had not only moved in lock, stock and barrel but also brought along his relatives.
"Well it could have been when the PCPD had to investigate this restraining order..."
"You're a riot."
"People are starting to talk about you, Jax. First Helena Cassadine now I hear you've got something going with Tracy Quartermaine. No, that's not quite right... maybe Monica is the one who needs to be worried. You're kind of working your way thru the Quartermaine women: Lois, Chloe, Skye even Brenda is an honorary Q and now Tracy."
"I was drunk. I don't remember anything. Mac, I would never..."
"Jax, if you're telling me that you were sexually assaulted... we can go right down to the station and I'll take a statement. Press charges. I know that Skye will keep your name out of the papers." Mac says agreeably but with marked insensitivity.
"The last thing I remember was having dinner over at the Ashton's. The next morning I woke up in Tracy's hotel room."
"You had dinner with Faith Roscoe?" Mac shakes his head in disgust. "It's a good thing that stupid isn't criminal-- because that would be a felony. Didn't Jerry teach you anything?"
Bruno, Manny and Alice had taken the town car back to the
cottage hours ago when they took Kristina back to the cottage. Which really
sucks for Dillon. Since he's the one pretzled into the back of the Porsche while
Faith drives and Ned navigates. If Ned hadn't been there then he would have
gotten to drive the Porsche. There is no doubt about it.
And Faith is covering big time. Didn't mention Lansing once to Ned when she said she wanted to leave-- just that it was time to go. Lila had left. Skye was gone and she'd done her bit for Quartermaine family togetherness. If he didn't get her out of there she was going to kill something etc. Ned had gotten the hint. If Dillon had realized that the Porsche was going to be the only transportation back he would have tried to hitch a ride with Georgie in Skye's SUV. The trip isn't over and already he can't feel his extremities. The trunk on this thing is bigger than the backseat and that isn't saying much. Dillon groans.
"Almost there." Ned says encouragingly, glancing over his shoulder.
"Your mother should have made you sleep with bricks on your head." Faith quips with a look in her rear view mirror.
"Is that a dis on my hair?" Dillon jokes. "Because I'm not that tall."
Faith pulls in behind the cottage and climbs out of the car. She flips her seat up. Ned does the same on the other side. Dillon practically cries as he crawls from the car and the blood starts getting back to his lower legs. "Next time I'll just give you cab fare." Ned promises. There is no way he'd volunteer to ride in the back of the Porsche.
"Please." Dillon agrees. "Guess I'll head down to the... " Dillon indicates the bunkhouse with his thumb. "Fill the guys in on what happened."
"What do you mean fill them in?!" Faith demands. "I spend the whole day stuck in that Gardening shack potting plants. You can fill me in on what happened. Nobody even brought me lunch."
Ned looks guilty as he holds the back door open for Faith. "Sorry Faith, I was on my way back when I got roped into running the sound board."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah." Faith walks over to the fridge and pulls out a little of this and a little of that. "Shouldn't you be going to check on Kristina?" Faith taps a toe until Ned leaves and then starts fixing herself a sandwich and then thinking about it a moment hands that one to Dillon and makes another. "So what really happened at that face painting booth."
"I was with you. Me and Georgie both."
"Right." Faith shakes her head and then waits patiently for Dillon to give up the goods.
"Okay, okay. It seemed like Maxie wasn't freaking on what Lansing said... at least not until the end-- when he got nasty. Elizabeth Webber was the one really acting weird from what Maxie told Georgie. Saying that Ric was a rapist. It wasn't his baby. I didn't even know she was pregnant.... or care. Anyway it got really ugly when Ric called her a lying slut that had betrayed him."
"Diving head first into the shallow end of the family gene pool." Faith makes a whistling noise followed by a little "Boom!" Dropping those pictures off to Ric's pasty face little waitress is paying dividends.
"Nevermind. What else?"
"Nothing else. Not really. It looked as if everyone was having a great time: music, dancing, it wasn't boring."
"Remember to tell your grandmother. She'll be happy." Faith picks at her sandwich. "And hey it isn't a party until something gets broken, even if it was Ric Lansing's coal black heart."
Bruno knocks in the door. "Hey Faith, Mouse just got these from the city. Thought you might want to look at them."
"He get a picture of the guy who is working with Helena?" Faith dusts her hands off and starts reaching for the folder.
But Bruno beats her to it. "He thinks so." Bruno puts the folder of pictures down on the counter and flips to the one that matched the guy selling a stone that is on Faith's watch list. "This one."
Dillon looks around Bruno to see that picture and ends up grabbing it off the counter to take a closer look. "I know that guy. I've seen that guy."
"Where?!" Faith snags the picture from Dillon and starts memorizing the face.
"I don't know."
"Doing deliveries. That's the only place it could have been."
Half an hour later. "Faith, I don't think this is such a good idea." Dillon white knuckles the wheel of the Porsche as he drives to the house on the outskirts of town. In the rear view mirror he can see Bruno driving the town car following them. The only reason he is along is because he knows where the house is. And he hadn't given Faith the address or directions 'cause he was hoping to talk her out of doing something... rash.
"Why?" Faith puts on her gloves and then opens the box that she'd tucked behind the seat.
"I mean... shouldn't you just call the cops-- let them handle it?"
After loading the magazine of the pistol, Faith screws on the silencer. It's a disposable gun and silencer. There are no memories associated with this pistol. It wasn't Fowler's, it wasn't the one Roscoe gave her. The silencer-- Well that's a felony all on its own-- cause there is no legal reason to have one. "They've been so effective so far: Roscoe, Fowler. I am so fucking sick of being the one throwing the funeral-- it's their turn.. What is the First priority, Dillon."
"Protect the baby. But Faith..."
"Helena Cassadine is a threat to the baby. She's got to go." Faith rolls her eyes. She forgets sometimes how young Ned's brother is. "I don't care if she goes back to Europe or to Tim-fucking-too. Then she'd be the Cassadine's problem. She isn't going to stay in Port Charles and she isn't going to be a threat to Kristina. I'm just going to... have a little chat with her."
"And if she isn't there?" Dillon asks hopefully.
"Then I'll leave her a message."
"If you're just going to talk then I can be there." To make sure all you do is talk.
"Nope. You aren't going to be around Helena any more than Kristina is. You're going to drop me off and then you're going to back to the house, call the florist shop and quit."
"Piss me off, Dillon, and you know I'm going to want to kill something." Faith declares matter of factly.
That shuts Dillon up. As he gets close to the driveway he drives past it and then pulls over on the side of the road leaving room for Bruno to pull in behind him. "That's the house."
"Go home." Faith orders. "Straight home."
Bruno comes up on the passenger side and opens Faith's door. He offers her a hand. "I got it from here, Kid."
As Bruno is shutting the door, "Bruno..."
"I know. It'll be okay. Fill you in later." Bruno shuts the passenger door and then pats the top of the roof of the car to let Dillon know to clear out.
Together Bruno and Faith walk up the drive to the house set back from the street. Faith raps on the door and then looks back toward Bruno so her face can't be seen by whoever is looking thru the Judas hole.
"May I help you?" A polite male voice with a slightly foreign accent inquires holding the door slightly ajar.
"Helena Cassadine please. She should be expecting me." Faith turns and looks the manservant over carefully. He's just as pretty as his pictures but evidently not too bright. It's so hard to get good help these days. Look what she's gone thru with Bruno to get him thinking like her right hand rather than a pretty piece of meat. Faith tilts her head to the side and smiles sweetly.
"Madam isn't he..." Too late realizing it's a trap, he tries to slam the door.
Bruno brings his hand up and stops the door from closing while Faith brings up the 9mm with silencer that had been obscured from the doorway with two quick pops she takes out the manservant's knees. A good surgeon and prompt medical attention might be able to save the lower legs but walking without a limp is now out of the question. The manservant falls to the floor screaming in agony. Bruno grabs him by the back of his collar and drags him back down the foyer, leaving twin trails of blood on the hardwood floor. Faith shuts the front door and sets the deadbolt. Dillon better have gone straight home. "Search the house. Make sure that bitch really isn't here." Bruno takes off with a nod. Faith pulls up a chair and crosses her legs at the thigh resting the 9mm on her knee. "Now. Where were we? Oh that's right, you were about to tell me where Helena Cassadine is."
"A doctor. I need a doctor." The man gasps.
"No, you won't. Not unless you tell me what I want to know." Faith says soothingly. She leans over and brushes the man's hair back from his clammy forehead. "You're going to go into shock soon and won't be able to tell me what I want to know-- then you'll die. Because you're not going to get what you need until I get what I want."
"No sign of her." Bruno puts away his own sidearm as he comes back into the foyer. "But someone with rich bitch tastes is living here." Bruno flips Faith a familiar tin of caviar.
"Damn. That is inconvenient." Faith nibbles on her lower lip. "Where is she?"
"I don't know. I don't know. A hospital. Please."
"Another angle." Faith mutters to herself and then her eyes narrow. "I want the combination and location of the safe. Gimme that and I'll give you a phone to call the ambulance." Faith offers as if it is the most reasonable request in the world.
There is nobody to play with. It's boring. There is nothing to do. Mr. Marcus is at the carnival talking to all the other kids. Zander too. Nikolas and Penny went but she didn't get to go because it wasn't safe for her to be on the mainland because of the bad lady. It wasn't fair. And you can't tell Stefan there is nothing to do... cause he'll FIND something to do and that was worse than having nothing to do. Tasha kicks at the dirt under the swing, dragging her feet along.
Tasha looks up to see the bearded man dressed in black just like all the guys that work for Stefan and Nikolas. "Hi."
"What are you doing here all by yourself?"
"Everyone went into town to go to the carnival but I can't go." Tasha shuffles her feet on the ground again.
"Because of that?" The man points to the ankle bracelet that Tasha has worn since leaving the hospital.
"No, this is so Mr. Marcus can find me if the bad lady comes to drink my blood."
"The bad lady."
"My brother would have told you about the bad lady." Tasha declares suspiciously.
"Right. The bad lady." The man nods. "Stefan did tell me about her."
Tasha relaxes when he says her brother's name. "You didn't get to go to the carnival either?"
He shrugs. "Someone had to make sure that the bad lady didn't come to the island."
"Do you have a gun?"
"Do I need one?"
"Maybe. Mr. Marcus has a gun. But he doesn't shoot dead people, he says it's redundant." Tasha changes the subject to what she really wants. "Will you give me a push? Just to start. I like to swing really high."
"Sure." The man comes up behind Tasha and with a firm hand on her back, gives her a push.
"My name is Tasha. What's yours?" Tasha asks as she leans back to get more height. Her new friend looks funny upside down.
"We can take turns." Tasha offers generously. "I push really well."
"I've heard that about you."
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